The past few years, I didn’t set yearly resolutions. I think we have a tendency to break our own resolutions, so I decided not to create them for myself. Why set myself up to break my own promises? Why not just be a good person and work toward bettering myself 365 days of the year?
But alas, I was young and on an anti-establishment streak.
Now, I am doing some reflection and defining what I want my year to look like. I’m not setting concrete goals or resolutions, but I’ve settled on a word of the year and a single task I want to do this year.
Here’s what I’ve come up with…
My word of the year: manifestation.
To me, manifestation means manifesting the life I want to live. Instead of waiting for the perfect post-grad job, the perfect novel idea, the perfect whatever to fall into my lap, I’m going to step up and create the perfect things that I want.
In Victor Wooten’s TED Talk (which I highly recommend you watch here because it’s pure genius), he says something along the lines of if you want music to come out of an instrument, you have to put it there.
Here’s what that means to me: if I want a beautiful life, I have to make it beautiful. If I want a novel to come out of the pages I write, I have to actually write the pages. If I want to stay in touch with a friend even though we live across the country (hi Jess and Glynnis), then I have to put effort into that friendship.
Above all, a year of manifestation means that I refuse to take the back seat in my own life. I’m in charge of my decisions and reactions, because (and this is going to sound cynical) no one wants me to have the life I want as badly as I want the life I want. I am my own purveyor of change, and I’m going to spend 2020 exploring and defining that role.
So… what does this mean for my writing?
It means that I’m taking steps to get me where I want to go. I want to be writer and I want to turn writing into a career, so I’m not making excuses for myself anymore: I’m going to write a book this year.
I’ve been dragging my feet on starting another project for several months (okay, years), but if I want to be a writer, that means writing. So, I’m going to finish the project that I’ve started and take steps toward achieving the life I want to achieve.
One of my biggest obstacles to a regular writing routine has been my desire to write a perfect first draft. In 2019, I noticed that I would think about a scene over and over in my head, perfecting it for days or weeks before putting pen to paper.
When I finally put those scenes on paper, something magical happens: I don’t think about them anymore. I’m free to move onto another scene, another moment, another idea. All that time I spent getting the scene just right for me to move onto the next one?
In 2020, first drafts are a race against my own ideas. If I can get a scene down on paper immediately after it’s in my head, then I can increase the speed at which I’m producing scenes. I’m learning to allow myself to create a first draft that isn’t perfect, because all a first draft has to be is finished.
Here’s how I’m doing this: once a day, I open up my computer or journal and set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes. During those ten minutes, I write with abandon. I write whatever comes to mind, even if I’m not happy with the words that I produce. If, after 10 minutes, I’m not feeling any momentum, then I put it away and move on because I showed up for 10 minutes and gave it my best effort.
But most of the time, that’s not what happens. Most of the time, I start to create. Most of the time, I shut off the timer and just go because I have momentum from those 10 minutes of showing up to the page.
That’s what 2020 is about: showing up. I’m honoring myself and my story by sitting myself down and dedicating at least ten minutes every single day to my goal. I think this goes beyond writing. In every aspect of my life, I’m going to show up every day for myself as I am now and as I want to be. I deserve that much.
You deserve that much, too.
Thanks for checking out my 2020 goals and mindset!! What are your resolutions/goals for 2020?
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